Letter: Water testing results for FFCSD

Dear members of the Fonda-Fultonville community,

As you may be aware, on Sept. 6, 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that requires public schools in New York state to test for lead in all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking.

This letter is to inform you about the results of water testing recently completed at all Fonda-Fultonville facilities by Pace Analytical Services, a private sampling and analytical testing company we hired to do the work. The company collected “first draw” samples – meaning the water outlet had not been used for a minimum of eight hours – from all 360 of the district’s spigots and drinking fountains.

Of these samples, 51 contained lead levels that exceed the state’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion (ppb). It is important to note that none of the action level samples came from drinking fountains, kitchen sinks, or home and career classroom sinks. Eighty-five percent of the action level samples came from faucets in science labs. These faucets are located in both middle school science labs and four high school science labs.

The remaining action level samples came from two outdoor spigots and five faucets used for handwashing: the women’s restroom in the superintendent’s office, the women’s restroom in the receiving area, the bathroom in the main kitchen, a girls restroom in the high school locker room, and a sink in the business office.

Please know the safety and health of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will work diligently to rectify every faucet that has returned action level samples.

When we received the results, we immediately placed signs by all affected indoor faucets that they are to be used for handwashing only. We will retest the affected taps, replace faucets and flush the pipe system to eliminate the sources of lead. The outdoor spigots that had action levels will be used for lawn purposes only.

The outlets that had the highest levels were from one outdoor hose spigot and from faucets in one of our high school science labs. Those classroom faucets have not been used all year, and they have been shut off until further testing is completed. 

Please know, too, that Fonda-Fultonville has followed its own water testing protocols even before the state initiated this recent legislation. As recent as this spring, the district tested drinking fountains in each building, and none of them tested above the action level for lead.

Visit this link on our webpage for resources about water testing, as well as complete test results. The samples that showed action levels for lead are highlighted in yellow. Paper copies of this letter will be sent home with students on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact my office at (518) 853-4415 ext. 8.

Sincerely,

Thomas Ciaccio
Superintendent of Schools